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/// AR Confidential                    We heard it through the grapevine!


      In the past  six months, more than  328,000 customers have signed  up
 for on-line  computer services,  bringing the number of  homes reached  by
 major  on-line  services  to  3.9  million,  according  to  a  survey   by
 Information &  Interactive Services  Report, a  trade newsletter based  in
 Washington.  But the 9.9  percent growth since March puts the current rate
 considerably below previous annual industry increases, said Gary Arlen, an
 editor of the newsletter. 

      "This suggests that consumer appetite ... may  be sated, and that the
 next market  phase may  include  increased efforts  by providers  to  lure
 customers away from one another," Arlen said. 

      Vienna-based America  Online Inc.  grew most  quickly, adding 130,000
 users for  a total  of 350,000,  a 59  percent jump. CompuServe  Inc., the
 largest on-line service with 1.4 million users,  added 190,000, a jump  of
 16  percent.  Prodigy, which  has  950,000 users,  lost 5  percent  of its
 customers while Rockville-based GEnie remained at 400,000. 

                         FIRED EXECUTIVE SUES APPLE

      Albert  A.  Eisenstat,  63,  Apple  Computer  Inc.'s  executive  vice
 president and  secretary, was  fired last week. He  promptly responded  by
 suing  Apple and  chief executive  Michael  Spindler,  alleging breach  of
 contract, wrongful termination and age discrimination.  

      Eisenstat's  suit  claims  he  was  forced  out  because  he  opposed
 Spindler's reorganization plans  and the  repricing of  stock options  for
 employees,  according to  the  Associated Press.  Spindler  replaced Apple
 chairman John Sculley as chief executive in June. 

      In announcing  Eisenstat's departure  on Friday, Apple  said the suit
 had  no merit.  "Al  seemed  to feel  he  ought to  be  employed  at Apple
 indefinitely.   Michael felt otherwise  and asked him to leave the company
 immediately," Apple spokeswoman Kate Paisley told Bloomberg Business News.
 Analysts said  the termination  suggests continuing  turmoil at  a company
 that  has been  hit by  massive losses  and the  resignation of  other key
 executives in recent months. 

                       VIDEO-CONFERENCING REVISITED 

      The hoopla  about video-conferencing  may just turn out  to be  hype,
 according to a  study by Dataquest Inc.    About 64  percent of the people
 responding to a survey  by the San Jose market research company  said they
 will have  little demand  for additional  videoconferencing equipment next
 year.  "There is  great hope among  many technology companies that  video-
 conferencing will  be the  `killer application' that  will accelerate  the
 trend toward multimedia. The results of our survey certainly don't support
 those hopes," said Dataquest analyst Bruce Ryon.
      The  survey found  that while  big Fortune  500 companies  need large
 room-type videoconference  systems, the  majority of  businesses find that
 facsimile,  electronic mail and other low-cost communications technologies
 are adequate.   In  addition, most  businesses said that  the benefits  of
 having  video on desktop  computers are not significant  enough to justify
 the costs of videoconferencing equipment. 
                    Copyright 1993 The Washington Post